New Year, New Music: 10 Anticipated Hip Hop/R&B Albums of 2018

Music in 2018 seems quite promising if you ask me, especially in the Hip Hop/R&B category. In the last year, there has been a ridiculous amount of hits under these two genres that were blessed to fans from both: genre icons and newcomers in the industry – and it will only get better.

From subtle hints to PSA’s, these fans should/could/will be blessed again this year with 10 very anticipated 2018 releases:

10. Migos

Gaining global success and recognition in 2017 with hit song ‘Bad and Boujee’, Migos is now dubbed to be one of the worlds biggest Hip Hop groups. With the help of an important shoutout from Donald Glover at the Golden Globes, this song managed to hit 4x platinum, chart at no.1 on the hot 100 and be the lead single off their debut album ‘Culture’. Their follow up, ‘Culture II’ has been announced however without a release date. The lead single ‘MotorSport’, which features Cardi B and Nicki Minaj has already been released and peaked inside the top 15. What else do we know about ‘Culture II’? –  Quavo recently said, during an interview with MTV News’ – “We got a lot of records. We got records with Ty Dolla $ign, records with Big Sean, records with Drake, records with Travis…we gon’ keep it going.”. It’s going to be big.

9. Cardi B

From a social media stripper, to a TV personality, to having a song that basically made history (in many ways) – Cardi B gained worldwide recognition and became a very successful female rapper. This was all made possible from the hit song ‘Bodak Yellow’ which is now leading her to a debut album expected to release in 2018. Now being named the Queen of Rap to some, Cardi B is under some pressure for this next project – 1.  Because ‘Bodak Yellow’ is a tough one to follow – 2.  Because Nicki Minaj may have lost her title and who knows what she can be cooking up to bounce back.

8. Drake

One of world’s biggest names and Forbes 5th richest Hip Hop artist is at the position he’s at for a reason. Even though there have been no direct announcements of new music from him, we have to keep in mind that Drake has delivered at least one full-length project every year since 2009, only excluding 2012. I don’t know about you but that does nothing else but prove to me that the “6 God” does not stop. It also tells me there is no way that he won’t bring us another album in this coming year.

7. SchoolBoy Q

After the tours and buzz for his last album died down, Q took to social media, posting at least two photos/videos nearly every night. One of them will be him at the gym with the caption, “clocked in”, and the other, with the same caption, will be Q with his legs up on the mixing desk at a recording studio. This means new music. No hints were ever dropped as to when it will release until he posted an instagram photo last September, announcing that an album was 90% complete. There is no doubt a new album is coming soon! – It is most likely done already.

6. Twenty88

The relationship we all just wish we had – Jhene Aiko and Big Sean. These lovebirds/soulmates released their sophomore self titled album, ‘TWENTY88’, in April 2016. It took a creative blend of Hip Hop and R&B that was executed to perfection, covering topics of love, sex, conflict and memories. Later in the same year, Big Sean announced on twitter that a new TWENTY88 album was coming in 2017. Now that year has passed, making it is safe to say that he got everyone’s hopes up. There is no way this flawless duo will make fans wait another year – it’s just cruel if they do. So fingers crossed it releases soon because we are dying to hear more.

5. Justin Timberlake

Fans of Justin Timberlake got given the best new years gift as he shared a video trailer to a new and upcoming album called ‘Man of the Woods’. Towards the end of the video, Justin is seen to be recording in the studio with producer Pharrell Williams. We already know these two collaborators are two peas in a pod from previous work such as Justin’s 2002 album, ‘Justified’, which the Neptunes (Pharrell and Chad Hugo) produced entirely. The lead single called ‘Filthy’, doesn’t really stick to the ‘Justified’ persona – the persona we all wanted to hear from again. However, if the rest of the album does, get ready for beautiful harmonies, luscious chords and bridges. This album is set to release on the 2nd of February so only less than a month away!  

4. Jaden Smith

Within a month after Jaden Smith dropped his debut concept album, ‘SYRE’, he announced he is coming back next year with another. The 2018 album will be called ‘ERYS’ which is (if it’s not obvious enough) ‘SYRE’ backwards and will reportedly find Jaden focusing more on rapping rather than singing and storytelling. Feature-wise, i believe we’re in for a treat – he told Complex that he was able to reach out to his idols and people he loves to help out with the project. We don’t know exactly who but we do know he adores Tyler, the Creator, Kid Cudi, Tycho etc. Although Jaden’s music isn’t some you would hear on your local radio station, his lead single ‘Icon’ – hitting almost 30 million views on youtube, proves that there are plenty of fans out there who are craving for some new music, and they won’t have to wait long.

3. The Internet

After a discography of three studio albums as a band and a solo project each, The Internet obtained excessive popularity in the R&B scene and found early success. In 2017, they focused on solo music only (including their own shows/tours), giving fans a taste of their individual work. This allowed them to give more insight into what every member contributes to the group as a whole. These guys seem untouchable and for them to be joining forces again in 2018 is a dream come true. An album is confirmed and its on its way according to the bands tweets in response to diehard fans. There is no word yet on a release date but i have a feeling it is going to be sooner than we think. They are taking their time and for a good reason as we accordingly won’t be disappointed.

2. Frank Ocean

There is no one more mysterious in the music industry than the man himself Frank Ocean. After releasing his 2012 album ‘Channel Orange’, Frank left social media platforms and basically disappeared into broad daylight – only returning four years later to release ‘Endless’ and ‘Blonde’. Ever since, Frank has been quite the caring guy by not vanishing again in 2017. Instead he  released several singles, performed at multiple festivals, started his own radio program and made us (some of us) a bunch of merchandise. He kicked off the new year by posting a cryptic picture on his tumblr of a guy wearing a hat that says “if you liked 2017, you’ll love… 2018.”, which undoubtedly hints that Frank will possibly stay with us and continue making us happy. From what he stated on his early 2017 tumblr post, we know there is another album ready to go. Now it’s just the matter of when – It may release this year, it may not. Just don’t get your hopes up though because he is Frank Ocean.. We know what he’s like.

1. Travis Scott

Probably one of the craziest performers in the Hip Hop scene, Travis Scott satisfied everyone in 2017 with numerous features and an anticipated joint album with Quavo which released in December. Being a hard working man in the business, he has given us an album every year ever since 2013 so it would be dumb to not hear new music from him in the coming year. However, we don’t need to assume anything as he already announced a very wanted upcoming album called ‘AstroWorld’. He made this PSA at a performance last August but since then, there has been no word as to when exactly this will drop. All i know is that the fans can’t wait any longer.